Armed PKK militants back in Turkey, senior outlawed group leader says
PKK militants withdraw from Turkey in May 2013.The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has deployed armed forces back to Turkey, said Cemil Bayık, a senior leader of the outlawed organization, while repeating his pessimism about recent talks between the Turkish government and the organization.
The PKK will resume its battle in the event that the killings of Kurds continue in Kobane, the Syrian border town where clashes between armed Kurdish forces and the Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have contiued for more than three weeks.
ISIL continues to advance inside and outside the town, from which more than 150,000 people have fled to Turkey.
"If things continue this way, the guerrilas will fight to defend our people. The core task of the guerillas is to defend the people," Bayık said.
A group of PKK militants launched the symbolic withdrawal in May 2013, as part of talks to resolve the decades-old Kurdish issue.
Bayık did not mention how many militants were sent back to the Turkish soil.
"As the government continues to deploy soldiers to the southeast and east, we decided to take action," saying that a military action motion approved in the Turkish Parliament earlier this week was "a declaration of war" against them.
At least 37 people have been killed this week across the country as demonstrations erupted in provinces with high Kurdish populations.
The PKK has called on the government to do more for the Kurds trapped in Kobane. But Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan said yesterday that Turkey would not open a corridor to allow fighters to transit Turkish territory to help defend the town.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly said the PKK and ISIL were both terrorist organizations with no difference to pick between them.
Bayık, who is also the co-chair of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the PKK’s urban wing, said back in July that those who think the PKK will withdraw from the armed struggle before the Kurdish people live in a “free and democratic” society were “dreamers.”